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Free will

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Clydey
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Re: Free will « Reply #330 on: June 03, 2012, 12:32 PM »
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The one that comes to mind for me is the events preceding the universe. Either you accept that at the earliest of time the core ingredients always existed. Or instead, you believe the premise that "All events are caused", consequently accepting the idea of an infinite regress.

That's the exception I was referring to.
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Mark
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Re: Free will « Reply #331 on: June 03, 2012, 12:34 PM »
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That's the exception I was referring to.
Well one exception is one too many if we are using a premise in deductive logic so let's scrap "All events are caused".
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Clydey
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Re: Free will « Reply #332 on: June 03, 2012, 12:37 PM »
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"Every decision we make has to have a prior cause" - that's the very assumption I'm talking about.

It's not an assumption. We know for near certainty that we are the product of genes and environment. Even if I grant you the slim possibility that there is some other factor, such as the existence of a soul. We still wouldn't be able to claim responsibility for the soul that we have; therefore, the argument is still valid. There is no possible factor that could contribute to the choices we make that is within our control. The fact that you cannot even conceive of such a factor proves the point. No one in history has been able to so much as imagine a possible other factor that would be compatible with free will, no matter how crazy or unlikely.

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The conclusion to the argument may very well be completely correct, but we haven't come up with the evidence yet to make that an absolute certainty. There's a very real chance we may never do so.

There is no evidence in the sense that you are using the word. There is only deductive reasoning, which is as powerful an epistemological tool as you could hope to utilise.
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Clydey
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Re: Free will « Reply #333 on: June 03, 2012, 12:41 PM »
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Well one exception is one too many if we are using a premise in deductive logic so let's scrap "All events are caused".

I didn't say that. You said that. I said all decisions are caused.
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Mark
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Re: Free will « Reply #334 on: June 03, 2012, 12:41 PM »
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We still wouldn't be able to claim responsibility for the soul that we have; therefore, the argument is still valid.
That makes a rather big assumption as it suggests you understand the workings of the soul. For all we know, the soul wipes the slate clean and is the same for everyone but with room for free will. Sounds silly but the consciousness is very mysterious so let's not make assumptions.
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Mark
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Re: Free will « Reply #335 on: June 03, 2012, 12:45 PM »
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I said all decisions are caused.
And yet the majority of the population would say they made the decision but would accept prior causes produced inclinations one way or another. You can't prove that's not the case and they can't disprove you. I'm not bringing up the 50/50 fallacy but it's still not really good enough for a premise for deductive logic.
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Clydey
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Re: Free will « Reply #336 on: June 03, 2012, 12:46 PM »
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That makes a rather big assumption as it suggests you understand the workings of the soul. For all we know, the soul wipes the slate clean and is the same for everyone but with room for free will. Sounds silly but the consciousness is very mysterious so let's not make assumptions.

What are you talking about? The above makes no sense. I'm not even sure what it is you are proposing.

Wipes what slate clean? When does this occur? I don't see how what you are saying is even coherent, let alone a hypothetical argument for free will. Could you expand on what you were saying?
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Clydey
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Re: Free will « Reply #337 on: June 03, 2012, 12:50 PM »
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And yet the majority of the population would say they made the decision but would accept prior causes produced inclinations one way or another. You can't prove that's not the case and they can't disprove you. I'm not bringing up the 50/50 fallacy but it's still not really good enough for a premise for deductive logic.

I really still don't think you get it. How does what you're saying allow for free will? Give me a single possible factor in a decision you make that is not genetic or environmental that would allow for free will.

We are born with a brain (we did not decide which brain we received). From that point on, we are exposed to our environment. That is what makes us who we are and we did not control it.

It seems like you are just making vague statements that are absolutely barren of any real content. Do you even realise that compatibilists accept that determinism is true? You're taking a philosphically untenable position and making some weird statements to try and stay afloat.
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Mark
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Re: Free will « Reply #338 on: June 03, 2012, 12:51 PM »
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What are you talking about? The above makes no sense. I'm not even sure what it is you are proposing.

Wipes what slate clean? When does this occur? I don't see how what you are saying is even coherent, let alone a hypothetical argument for free will. Could you expand on what you were saying?
You're saying it's not possible for the soul to end up disproving the theory because its existence was caused by say, the development of the brain or at the embryonic stage.

The consciousness aka soul is a mystery to us. We have yet to identify it physically which means we cannot know for certain that gene variation will lead to different souls. Therefore, for arguments sake only, we could end up finding out that it doesn't matter what genes you have, the make-up of the soul is identical in everyone and that it somehow enables what we know to be free will.

Like I said, it all is far fetched but I'm just disagreeing with discounting it as a potential factor in the future purely on the assumption it works like everything else that we know. That fact we can't identify it could be an argument in itself that it in fact doesn't.

I really still don't think you get it. How does what you're saying allow for free will?
Of course I wasn't saying that but never mind, it's not an important point and perhaps was indeed not valid.
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Clydey
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Re: Free will « Reply #339 on: June 03, 2012, 12:55 PM »
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You're saying it's not possible for the soul to end up disproving the theory because its existence was caused by say, the development of the brain or at the embryonic stage.

The consciousness aka soul is a mystery to us. We have yet to identify it physically which means we cannot know for certain that gene variation will lead to different souls. Therefore, for arguments sake only, we could end up finding out that it doesn't matter what genes you have, the make-up of the soul is identical in everyone and that it somehow enables what we know to be free will.

That's a complete non-sequitur. How does it enable free will?

No matter how crazy, I want you to describe a scenario (include any factors you wish) that would be an example of you expressing free will. Go nuts. I don't care how crazy your suggestion is, but be specific. Don't be vague. It is impossible to conceive of a scenario that actually puts us in control.
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Mark
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Re: Free will « Reply #340 on: June 03, 2012, 12:57 PM »
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That's a complete non-sequitur. How does it enable free will?
I never suggested I knew that because how could I when we don't know what the consciousness is yet. It's that very fact which is why we shouldn't discount it with confidence.
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Clydey
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Re: Free will « Reply #341 on: June 03, 2012, 12:59 PM »
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I never suggested I knew that because how could I when we don't know what the consciousness is yet. It's that very fact which is why we shouldn't discount it with confidence.

Yes, but it doesn't matter how you define it. There is no way to define it that makes it compatible with free will.
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Mark
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Re: Free will « Reply #342 on: June 03, 2012, 01:01 PM »
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I'm curious on your thoughts about a comment I made earlier.

I was under the impression the premise of deductive logic has to be a provable fact. And yet you said it can simply be as good as the evidence is available. But then surely we can say the world being flat was seen as deductive logic based on the evidence at hand at that time.

Do you agree?
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Clydey
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Re: Free will « Reply #343 on: June 03, 2012, 01:06 PM »
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I'm curious on your thoughts about a comment I made earlier.

I was under the impression the premise of deductive logic has to be a provable fact. And yet you said it can simply be as good as the evidence is available. But then surely we can say the world being flat was seen as deductive logic based on the evidence at hand at that time.

Do you agree?

No. That was more like speculation. It's not speculation to say that all decisions are caused. They have to be. Everything we do from our very first breath is the result of something that came before.
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strider
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Re: Free will « Reply #344 on: June 03, 2012, 05:16 PM »
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It's not an assumption. We know for near certainty that we are the product of genes and environment. Even if I grant you the slim possibility that there is some other factor, such as the existence of a soul. We still wouldn't be able to claim responsibility for the soul that we have; therefore, the argument is still valid. There is no possible factor that could contribute to the choices we make that is within our control. The fact that you cannot even conceive of such a factor proves the point. No one in history has been able to so much as imagine a possible other factor that would be compatible with free will, no matter how crazy or unlikely.

There is no evidence in the sense that you are using the word. There is only deductive reasoning, which is as powerful an epistemological tool as you could hope to utilise.

The fact I can't conceive a confounding factor proves one doesn't exist??? That's not a great argument.

As I say, though, you keep making that assumption. Essentially, someone could come up with a free decision they made, one which could have been different had they chosen for it to be so, and your response will simply be "nah, there's been environment and genes in play there, even though I can't truly show just how that happened".

It's like arguing with a religious nut about the existence of God.

Let's go wild as you suggest - if there's the possibility of an uncaused event, like the very first one as we logically believe there must have been, then why not the possibility that somewhere in our brain exists the ability to override a chain of events in there, or start a new chain of cause and events?

That's pretty unlikely, but not complete fantasy if we believe there was an uncaused cause somewhere in history.

Also, from an evolutionary standpoint - why this desire to believe we're in control? We know when we're not in a real situation, and become very uncomfortable with it (pretty much the premise behind Inception). We can tell the difference between a dream and reality. We have this absolute need to feel in control of what we do. If we never have been, why has that behaviour been one which has developed through natural selection, and why would it be seen as a helpful one to delude ourselves like that? I know there's flaws in just about every species in some way, but that one is pretty massive.

As I've said earlier, I actually reckon you might be right here, but it's purely speculation all round. You can't dismiss other arguments for flawed logic when the logic here isn't as solid as it would seem.
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